Richard Broom Photography

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The Wooden Wonder

Only the Brits could make a jet aircraft using wood (see image below). In these days of carbon fibre, I feel wood is much underrated as a building material. Bring back wood (and a few more trees). Don’t you just love the touch, smell and feel of wood?

The jet aircraft, by the way, is a de Havilland Vampire. The one in the image was being restored at the RAF Museum in Cosford, a few years ago.

The Quick Brown Dog?

Those of us (and we are a vanishing breed) who can send and receive Morse code will be able to pick out ‘The Quick Brown Dog’ sent in Morse code from this interesting video. I think it should be ‘The Quick Brown Fox’ but who cares. There was a time when I earned my living sending and receiving Morse code messages. Hard to believe these days but it does prove that I am a VERY OLD MAN!!!

The walk without a camera!

I’ve returned to Banff after two weeks away in England. We went on a long walk to Whitehills (the next small town along the coast westwards from Banff) and back with the dog today. You can see our GPS track in the image below (total distance 6 miles). We enjoyed a lot of meandering when we were throwing the ball for the dog (who has never got the hang of ‘fetch’) on the beach. We also saw grey seal basking on the rocks at Whitehills, curlew and a heap of other sea birds were dishing about like wind-up toys on the beaches. There were heaps of other seabirds diving into the sea with ferocity in order to catch their breakfast. The Scottish landscape is beyond breathtaking and we find ourselves living in a small town which must be one of Scotland’s best kept secrets. And, by the way, Whitehills famous for this.

Note to self………remember to take the camera next time!

Banff coastline
The dog walk 6 October 2019

THE BOOK REVIEW (BR 2) – Between Silk and Cyanide: A Code Maker’s War 1941-45

Calling all spies!!!

Backstabbing, interdepartmental rivalry, leaks, lies, deception and dishonourable behaviour.

No, we’re not talking about the UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet or the current Brexit shambles. We’re talking, instead, about the highly secretive Special Operations Executive (SOE) also known as ‘The Baker Street Irregulars’ or ‘Churchill’s Secret Army.’ For American readers, the SOE formed the blueprint for the OSS which, later, became the CIA.

The author of the book, Leo Marks was certainly an irregular and he was the man who took care of the code making within the SOE. Leo’s book doesn’t only talk about secret codes, it details how the SOE grew and changed during World War 2. The SOE was the department that parachuted many extraordinarily brave people (agents) into occupied Europe. In many cases, the agents were caught and tortured and executed by the Nazis.

Among many other things, Leo’s book also discusses the rows and rivalries which took place between the UK’s various military and government departments during World War 2. Some things never change!

If you are interested in espionage, counter-espionage, secret codes, and how World War 2 was fought on many different and surprising fronts, then this is the book for you.

I give Between Silk and Cyanide a well-deserved Richard score a 10/10

PS: there is a curious cross-link between Leo’s book and 84 Charring Cross Road.

The Poo Sucking Pump

If, like we do, you live on a boat then the human waste (AKA pee and poo) has to go somewhere. And so, we have a sealed (very much sealed) tank on the boat known as the Black Tank and, every now and then, we go to the ‘Poo Sucker’ which empties the gently fermenting contents of tank into the town sewage system. Dumping human waste into the sea, canals and rivers is not allowed. Pumping out is a very quick, easy and fragrant process. The image shows the machine which sucks out all the waste.

Our boat, Lucie

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